Imagine your home gradually filling up with 450 litres of water. That's the amount a typical four person household uses every day!
So where does all the water get used?
In this article, we will delve into the details of domestic water consumption in the UK and highlight the figures behind activities such as brushing teeth, showering and washing clothes. By understanding the numbers, we can take more responsible steps towards preserving water. You might rethink your daily routines once you discover the amount of water you're using at home on a daily basis.
How much water is wasted brushing teeth?
How much water does a dripping tap waste?
How much water does a shower use?
How much water is in a toilet flush?
How much water does a washing machine use?
How much water does a garden sprinkler use?
How much water does a dishwasher use?
Top Statistics (Editors Picks)
- Average daily water use per person in the UK: 142 litres.
- Estimated daily water use for a four-person household in the UK: 450 litres.
- Percentage that think daily household water usage is less than 20 litres: 46%.
- Water used by leaving tap running when brushing teeth: 12 litres
- Water wasted by a dripping tap: 4 litres per day
- Water used by electric shower (8 min): 40 litres
- Water used by mixer shower (8 min): 64 litres
- Water used by power shower (8 min): 104 litres
- Water used by a dual flush toilet: 6 litres (full flush), 3 litres (half flush)
- Water used by modern front loading washing machine (standard wash): 50 litres
- Water used by garden sprinkler (1 hr): 1000 litres
- Water used by dishwasher (standard setting): 14 litres
Average Water Use
WHAT IS THE AVERAGE WATER USE PER PERSON IN THE UK?
In the UK, each person typically uses about 142 litres of water per day. Alarmingly, a third of this (47L) is wasted due to inefficient home appliances, plumbing and bad habits.
- On average, an individual in the UK uses 142 litres of water per day.1.
- One third of this water is wasted.2.
Other European countries…
When compared to other countries in Europe, the UK's water usage per person is quite high. For example, people in Germany and the Netherlands use an average of 125 litres each day. In France, the average is even lower at 110 litres. Some areas in Denmark have the lowest average daily usage, with just 80 litres per person.3.
WHAT IS THE AVERAGE HOUSEHOLD WATER USAGE IN THE UK?
The average household water usage in the UK is dependent on the number of residents. A single person household uses approximately 149 litres of water per day, a two-person household consumes 276 litres, and a four-person household uses around 450 litres.
- A single person household in the UK uses approx. 149 litres of water per day.4.
- A two-person household in the UK uses approx. 276 litres of water per day.4.
- A four-person household in the UK uses approx. 450 litres of water per day.4.
BRITS HAVE NO IDEA HOW MUCH WATER THEY USE!
Nearly half of Brits greatly underestimate their household's daily water usage, with 46% believing it's less than 20 litres! This shocking lack of awareness is especially prominent among the 18-34 age group, with two-thirds thinking daily usage is less than 20 litres.
- 46% of people in the UK think their household's daily water usage is less than 20 litres.1.
- 66% of those aged 18-34 think their household's daily water usage is less than 20 litres.1.
Water in the Home
HOW MUCH WATER IS WASTED BRUSHING TEETH?
Keeping the tap running while brushing your teeth for the recommended 2 minutes consumes approx. 12 litres of water. By turning the tap off, you save approx. 10 litres. For a family of four, this simple change of habit could save 80 litres of water a day!
- Tap left running during teeth brushing: uses approx. 12 litres of water.2.
- Tap turned off during teeth brushing: uses approx. 2 litres of water.2.
HOW MUCH WATER DOES A DRIPPING TAP WASTE?
A single tap, dripping once every second, can waste approximately 4 litres of water a day. This seemingly minor leak amounts to 28 litres in a week, culminating in an astounding waste of nearly 1,460 litres every year!
- A dripping tap, with 1 drip a second, wastes 4 litres of water a day.6.
- That's 28 litres a week or an astonishing 1,460 litres a year!
HOW MUCH WATER DOES A SHOWER USE?
The amount of water a shower uses depends on the type of shower. An electric shower uses approx. 5 litres per minute, a mixer shower 8 litres per minute and a power shower 13 litres per minute. The average 8 minute shower with an electric shower uses approx. 40 litres of water, with a mixer shower approx. 64 litres and with a power shower approx. 104 litres of water.
|Shower Type||Water Usage|
|Electric Shower||5 l/min|
|Mixer Shower||8 l/min|
|Power Shower||13 l/min|
- An electric shower uses approx. 5 litres of water per minute.1. 5.
- A mixer shower uses approx. 8 litres of water per minute.1. 5.
- A power shower uses approx. 13 litres of water per minute.1. 5.
Shower vs Bath...
The average bath uses 80 litres of water.1. 5. The average 8 minute shower using an electric or mixer shower uses less water than a bath (40l and 64l). Surprisingly however, an 8 minute power shower uses approx. 104 litres of water - much more than having a bath!
HOW MUCH WATER IS IN A TOILET FLUSH
The amount of water used in a toilet flush depends on the type of toilet. Older style single flush toilets use 13 litres per flush. However, dual flush toilets use 6 litres for the full flush and 3 litres in the half flush.
- Older style, single flush toilets use 13 litres of water per flush.8.
- Dual flush toilets use 6 litres of water in the full flush and 3 litres in the half flush.9.
HOW MUCH WATER DOES A WASHING MACHINE USE?
A modern, front loading washing machine on a standard 40 degree wash will use approx. 50 litres of water. The amount of water used by washing machines varies based on factors such as type and age of machine and the wash settings used.
|Washing Machine Type||Standard 40 degree wash|
|Modern Front Loading||50 litres|
|Modern Top Loader||120 - 150 litres|
|Old Machines||Up to 180 litres|
- A modern, front loading washing machine uses approx. 50 litres per standard wash.11.
- A top loader washing machine uses 120 - 150 litres per wash.12.
HOW MUCH WATER DOES A GARDEN SPRINKLER USE?
Running a garden sprinkler for 1 hour will use approx. 1000 litres of water. This is more than twice the water used by the average 4 person household in an entire day!
- A garden sprinkler uses approx. 1000 litres per hour.8.
HOW MUCH WATER DOES A DISHWASHER USE?
A full sized dishwasher on a standard setting will use approx. 14 litres of water or approx. 10 litres on eco mode setting. The amount of water used varies based on factors such as size of machine and the wash setting used.
- A dishwasher on a standard setting will use approx. 14 litres of water.5.
- A dishwasher on eco mode setting will use approx. 10 litres of water.5.
In this exploration of UK household water usage, we've shone a spotlight on our daily consumption patterns. We’ve learnt that a staggering 46% of Brits believe their household's daily water usage is less than 20 litres, highlighting a significant gap between perception and reality. The data highlights the crucial importance of responsible water usage and, hopefully, encourages readers to reconsider their own water consumption habits.
4. https://www.southernwater.co.uk/account/average-water-use-and-cost, https://www.onaverage.co.uk/consumption-averages/average-water-usage